Kayy Alexiss is new in the New York underground, but the buzz is starting to pick up. With early dreams to become a professional basketball player, her lifelong love affair with music and growing attention from social media for her freestyles turned the tides for her dreams. In 2024, Kayy Alexxiss is planning on taking off. In this interview, we break it all down and tell you why she is next up.
The Making of Kayy Alexiss
Kayy Alexiss: Hi, Photobombshell. I’m honored to be interviewed by you, and I appreciate the love and the listening. I’m not sure where to start! I go by Kayy Alexiss, of course. I create music, specifically hip-hop. I’m from Queens, New York, Southside Jamaica, to be exact, and I’ve always had a special relationship and love for music.
When I was young, like five years old, I used to try to rap with my brothers and their friends. Throughout school, I would remain involved in music. I did band, jazz band, gospel choir, church choir, and had a drum pad at home that I took lessons with. Then I’d rap just for fun with friends or at family talent shows and school talent shows. The funny thing is, even with all that, I thought I was going pro for basketball, not rapping or music.
In my adult life, I started managing and developing artists, acting as a listening ear for friends. I knew I wanted to be involved, but more so behind the scenes, until I started posting freestyles on Instagram one day just for fun. People started taking to it and telling me to do the music for real, so I prayed to God about it. We decided, let’s go and be a legend in this game.
What’s in the Name?
Kayy Alexiss: Well, I’ve had many nicknames growing up, and none sounded good to me for a rap name. I sat with my twin sister and brother-in-law to come up with a name once I decided to do this. Kayy comes from the first initial of my first name, and Alexis is my middle name. I added an extra y and s because I like to be extra sometimes.
As far as my vibe, I’m just a super chill person, but I have different sides to me and different moods, which you hear within the versatility of my music. Depending on my mood, I may be a homebody, antisocial, emotional, emotionless, the turn-up queen, or whatever.
Standing Out in New York
Kayy Alexiss: Honestly, there are so many talented artists. You are right, but I’ve always moved to the beat of my own drum, so it comes naturally for me to stand out. I have my own sound, style, swag, look and all. That’s my whole slogan, “I’m different”. I strive to be a goat in an industry where almost everyone is a sheep. If there are ten artists at a show that all sound good, I look for the one thing they may lack or something I can bring that they aren’t. I may do an acapella freestyle, have crazy energy, or engage more with the audience. It just depends on how I’m feeling and what I’m seeing.
Kayy Alexiss: When you hear lyricists, they can freestyle on a beat, and it’s fire. They put words together that might have you feeling some type of way, but they usually struggle to make a hit or a radio/club bop. Then you may have an artist who can make a great song or a hit but is not the best emcee or isn’t the best lyrically. I can do both, and I think on an elite level. I make catchy songs and then give you bars on the gram. In my opinion, I could go down as one of the best to ever do it. I’m just getting started, and I’m already great at it. I’m only getting better. The sky isn’t the limit when your potential is limitless. Like I said, “No one can spit like me, then drop a hit like me.”
The Power of a Team
Kayy Alexiss: I have so many great tips! One important tip would be to get you a team, but not just any team. You can’t just pick up anyone and try to make it work. Get a team whose goals align with yours, who believes in you, and who is willing to work.
As an artist, and even more so for a female artist, you have many areas to cover or handle to advance your music career, but we’re not octopuses. We don’t have eight arms. We can’t do it all by ourselves. Some of the times when I’ve been the most frustrated in the game have been when I’ve tried to do everything myself.
As a female artist starting out and especially with no money, you have to have your hair together, makeup done, nails done, outfit ready, videographer, engineer, producer, marketing, book shows, release music, and engage on social media. It’s way too much to try to do alone. Get you a team. It will help lighten the load and let you focus on creating the music.
Kayy Alexiss on the Writing Process
Kayy Alexiss: Honestly, it depends on my mood and how I’m feeling as far as the writing and creating process. No lie, right now, I love writing music while sitting on the toilet. I don’t know why, but that’s the spot I am currently the most productive and effective when I write. The second would be in a car, just because I love the way the bass hits. Sometimes, I like to write sober. Sometimes, I may hit a blunt or take a shot. That only works sometimes, because doing those things could also stunt you in the creation process. Usually, it helps me flow and step out of my head. If I can’t do that, I’ll go into the studio with an idea and freestyle in there as I go. Sometimes, it’s about switching things up or experiencing life to get inspired. I put my headphones on and zone out. I hate to be interrupted during this time, too.
Kayy Alexiss: “Spike Lee” is a vibe. I did that song with another dope artist, Kaje Jones, and my sister, Kiara Aleyia, who has picked up a few things from me. Kaje’s cousin 808 did the beat. She sent me a few tracks, and this was one of my favorites. It was kind of hard to write to, but more so for me because it’s different from my usual style, even though it’s so versatile. We were looking for a bop. We showed up at HQE studios in Jersey with nothing but energy and vibes. Then, we went in there and cooked up. I got inspired because I felt like the whole weekend was a movie. It was my sister’s boyfriend and his twin brother’s birthday, so I decided to turn that into a song. I’m not going to lie though. I had to come back. The hook came to me super fast, but I was getting stuck on the verse, and it was getting late. In the end, I think we can say we accomplished our goal.
Kayy Alexiss: Sheesh, it’s so hard to pick just one. My greatest accomplishments are more intangible. Recently, someone told me that I needed to keep going with the music. Honestly, at that time, music was the last thing on my mind because life was lifin,’ and I was trying to weather those storms. He told me that my music was healing to people, and he was one of those people. That meant a lot to me because I don’t do this for myself. I’m doing it for people like him who need a smile during the day, someone to connect to, or understand how they’re feeling, or even to help express how they’re feeling. Those moments are huge for me.
I’ll also throw in, at my brother’s wedding, they surprised me and played one of my songs. Everyone stood up, and mad people were singing the words. That meant a lot to know that my family is rocking with me, not just because they are my family, but because my music is good. It meant the world. They are my biggest fans sometimes, especially my daughter.
A Look Ahead
Kayy Alexiss: Recently I’ve been working on my mental health and getting my life in order because things were falling apart, or so it seemed. I’m much more mature now, understanding that when things feel like they are falling apart, it’s actually when it’s coming together. I say that to say the things I went through during this time will come out in the music.
I’m looking to release 2-3 new singles at the tail end of 2023 and continue dropping freestyles weekly on the gram. I plan to get some more visuals out, too. I think it’s time. Overall, showing a more vulnerable side of me, letting the fans get to know me a little more, and having fun with me are goals. There are shows on the way as well. I get hit up a lot for that. In 2024, I am dropping a project, and I’m manifesting it is the year I take off.
Kayy Alexiss: I’m shocked that few people ask who I grew up listening to or who inspired me in this game. For the most part, you can guess by someone’s sound, but I’d be interested to know who people guess for me because I have such a wide range.